Shelly Lewis once said, “Addiction is a family disease. One person may use, but the whole family suffers.” When you look at an addict next to their family, you can indubitably see that their whole family is suffering right along with them. The parents and/or spouses are angry and scared; the children are bewildered; and the rest of the family is in distress. Addiction affects the family members of the active user in a variety of ways:
An effective addiction treatment center knows that including the family is essential for the addict’s recovery. Family therapy helps the family along with the addict heal from the devastating effects of addiction. Addiction causes family relationships to become strained, so family therapy helps repairs those broken relationships.
Why Family Therapy is Essential for Effective Addiction Treatment
Treatment centers may execute family therapy in one or multiple ways. Many treatment centers will have family days or family weekends, which is when the family visits their loved one in treatment and participates in a group therapy session with other families and their addicted members. Counselors at the treatment center may have members of the immediate family to come in on certain days for idealized sessions. These sessions may include the addicted loved one or not.
Addiction interventionist Kristina Wandzilak once said, “Behind every great addict is an equally great co-dependent or mask of co-dependency.” Co-dependency is when someone becomes addicted to the addict just as much as the addict is addicted to his or her substance of choice. Family members often become co-dependent because they are trying to take care of the addict by giving money, providing a place to live, buying groceries, bailing out of jail, rescuing from drug houses, constantly worrying, etc. While they think that they are benefiting the addict, they are actually being a detriment to the addict and themselves because they are preventing bottoms and stressing themselves out when they are powerless over the addict. Family therapy treats co-dependency by educating family members on co-dependency, addiction, and tools to recover from co-dependency.
In order for the addict to maintain recovery among their family, their family must be in recovery as well. When the addict is released from treatment, they need to come home to a healthy environment where the family is nurturing, understanding, and willing to communicate. Since addiction is a family disease, the entire family must recover in order for the addict to successfully recover.
Seacrest Recovery Center is located in Eatontown, New Jersey. Their unique Phase Back to Life outpatient program helps addicts recover while being in touch with their families and communities. Call them today at 833-610-1174